During the last years, there have been a lot of legal arguments related with copyright issues. This is nothing new, but with the global adoption of the Internet most 'cultural' corporations feel threaten and this has led to increasingly restrictive copyright laws.
There are hundreds of books, paintings, films, etc. that should be in the public domain and they are not for several reasons, usually related with the economic interests of big enterprises. We have also witness ridiculous lawsuits by the heirs of artists who are much more interested in money than in the cultural legacy of their ancestors.